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Discussion Starter #1
I have a M&P Shield that I've owned for about two years and I've put several magazines worth of rounds through it at the NRA Range. My problem is that the recoil spring is amazingly tight and hard to rack. Is that normal for the Shield or is there a weaker spring that can be purchased for the weapon after market?

I've also ran across a new problem and that is when I rack the slide to load the weapon or to try and lock the slide to the rear, it sometimes doesn't want to go all the way back. It seems like the slide is catching on something. When it does go all the way back, it has a grinding feel to it. I've taken the weapon apart and can't see any burrs or inpingements on the slide, but this issue combined with the spring tightness above makes the weapon unreliable to use in a concealed carry mode.

Please note, I've never had any slide problems at the range. It always works fine. This is a new issue. Any assistance or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Jack
 

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Hard to diagnose from what you wrote. There is so much we just don't know from what little has been written. Frankly I don't have a Shield.

Has it been lubricated?

You might be better off with a revolver. They "cure" many problems when a slide is difficult to rack. I suggest to my clients that not everyone needs, or can use, a semi-auto. But today everyone seems to think semi-autos are the only option available. An honest dealer and an honest buyer result in the proper handgun being purchased/sold. Many buyers exaggerate their "manliness" (as they see it) or minimize their frailties, and many dealers try to sell what they have behind the glass rather than getting what the buyer actually needs.

OK, I'll ask... did you buy the right gun?

We don't know your age or capabilities since it wasn't written. You might be in your 90s, infirm (hence the racking problem), or you might be 20 years old and able bodied. You don't say. The problem could be the gun, or the problem may lie elsewhere. But hard to rack is the clue I'm left to work with. Maybe I missed something that someone else can pick up on?

We don't know who you are. If you have more info' we might be able to help better. Not to convict, only so that we can help. We want to see you get what you paid for or can use. You may have been sold a gun that isn't suited for you just because the dealer had something to sell. Yeah, I know that never happens. :)
 

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Jack, I had one of the first Shield & it was so hard to rack I got rid of it in a month. 3 months ago I got a ported Shield & I love it. I am old & weak in the hands & even it was hard to rack to begin with. After about 200 rounds it improved so I could rack it much easier.
When I got it, it was too hard to rack to lock the slide back. I got a Handi racker & it made racking a snap. I use them on all my guns at times. There are several types out there so get one to fit the Shield. I have 2 & they fit most all guns. The ported Shield is really about my favorite gun now.
 

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Here`s what gave it away.... "When it does go all the way back, it has a grinding feel to it"

LUBE THE RECOIL SPRING WITH DRI-LUBE, THEN SHOOT THE HELL OUT OF IT.
 

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I've also ran across a new problem and that is when I rack the slide to load the weapon or to try and lock the slide to the rear, it sometimes doesn't want to go all the way back. It seems like the slide is catching on something. When it does go all the way back, it has a grinding feel to it. I've taken the weapon apart and can't see any burrs or inpingements on the slide, but this issue combined with the spring tightness above makes the weapon unreliable to use in a concealed carry mode.
Shields are small pistols chambered for potent calibers and they are notorious for having heavy recoil springs.

Simplify what you are evaluating.

Remove the recoil spring assembly (RSA) and barrel from the slide. Put the empty slide back on the frame rails and move the slide back and forth to see if there is any catching or grinding. If the problem is related to the slide, you can move the slide without the RSA very slowly to determine exactly where the problem is located.

If the problem is not related to the slide, shift your attention to the barrel and RSA. Check the barrel for any visible wear that would indicate binding. Make sure the RSA is properly installed; the Shield's dimensions are small enough that it does not take much for the RSA to be out of proper alignment.
 

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You have had the pistol for two years and only put several magazines through it? It's still new, like PaPow suggested dri lube the recoil spring and after a couple hundred rounds you will see a big difference.
 

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Greeting from a new guy. My Shield that I just picked up with the sale does the same thing as described in the first post. When pulling the slide back to the rear to lock it back it wants to stop short. It's like it hits a wall and you have to push through it to get it back all the way. I just picked it up and have not had a chance to fire it yet so I have no idea if it affects function yet.
 

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Geez us chrismas.
Its a sub compact hand gun in a fairly potent caliber.
It will require some force.
Try using the push method.
Grip weapon with strong hand grasp slide with weak hand and push the weapon instead of pulling the slide.

Also shoot the freaking things after you clean and lube it (prior to first outing).
I shot 250'rounds first range outing with the shields Ive purchased.
40 and 45'calibers.
Rackin um is easy as any other SA pistol to me.


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I have a M&P Shield that I've owned for about two years and I've put several magazines worth of rounds through it at the NRA Range. My problem is that the recoil spring is amazingly tight and hard to rack. Is that normal for the Shield or is there a weaker spring that can be purchased for the weapon after market?

I've also ran across a new problem and that is when I rack the slide to load the weapon or to try and lock the slide to the rear, it sometimes doesn't want to go all the way back. It seems like the slide is catching on something. When it does go all the way back, it has a grinding feel to it. I've taken the weapon apart and can't see any burrs or inpingements on the slide, but this issue combined with the spring tightness above makes the weapon unreliable to use in a concealed carry mode.

Please note, I've never had any slide problems at the range. It always works fine. This is a new issue. Any assistance or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Jack
Greeting from a new guy. My Shield that I just picked up with the sale does the same thing as described in the first post. When pulling the slide back to the rear to lock it back it wants to stop short. It's like it hits a wall and you have to push through it to get it back all the way. I just picked it up and have not had a chance to fire it yet so I have no idea if it affects function yet.
It's very important that when reassembling the pistol; y'all make sure the recoil assembly is alligned correctly between the front of the slide and the lower lug on the barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I bought exactly what I wanted. I was 30 years in the Army and I've owned both a 1911 .45 and a 9mm S&W that was the Army's Beretta equivalent. So I have lived with, used and carried semi auto pistols for a living, protection and fun. So, no, I didn't walk into the PX and ask the guy to tell me what pistol was right for me. I looked at and evaluated several small frame semi autos before deciding. I do have an affinity for S&W, so that may have played into which gun to buy, but I knew what I was looking for.

As for age, I am 60 now, and my thumbs sometimes hurt, but not enough to keep me from racking the slide. There are some good suggestions below that I'll pursue before trading this in for a revolver. Appreciate the advice tho. Thanks, Jack
 

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Those small pistols are hard to operate, all of them not just the Shield, I looked at a bunch and most of them I couldn't operate at all. The 40 Shield was one of those, but I could operate the 9mm, just barely.

The cure is fairly simple, get a bigger gun, I have no trouble at all with my full size M&P 40, probably a compact would be similar, they have more to hang onto. Give it a try, you might find what you are looking for.
 

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I have trouble with racking the slide on my new Shield too, a combo of aging :veryangry: and a bad break of my left wrist a few years back I suspect. I can just barely slingshot it, but have no problem overhanding it. I think overhanding works best for me because the force being applied to the slide tends to wedge my thumb meat into the serrations the more force that is being applied, whereas when slingshoting only the usual thumb strength is holding your thumb against the slide.

I understand that when a responsible gun maker designs a recoil operated gun like the Shield, they'll put the strongest springs they can get away with and still make it reliable. Reason being, they know that with use, the springs will relax and settle into their optimum strength, giving the gun a good overall service life. You need to put substantial number of rounds through it to get the springs "broke in." I've only got about 250 through mine and it's still feels about as stiff as brand new.

You might want to go to a gunsmith and convert the slide stop into a slide release to reduce the number of times you need to work the slide while at the range.

Another thing, racking the slide is mostly strength, but there's some technique involved, so practice daily.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Gene1,
Thanks for the advice on the Handi Racker, I'll look into getting one. I don't know what a "ported" weapon would be. I'll also check into that. Again, mine is about two years old, but I wouldn't know if I had a ported Shield or not.
Thanks,
Jack
 

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Gene1,
Thanks for the advice on the Handi Racker, I'll look into getting one. I don't know what a "ported" weapon would be. I'll also check into that. Again, mine is about two years old, but I wouldn't know if I had a ported Shield or not.
Thanks,
Jack
This is a ported 9mm shield.
Porting reduces felt recoil a small amount




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Another thing, racking the slide is mostly strength, but there's some technique involved, so practice daily.

More Technique THAN strength.
My 81yr old mom who is a rather small lady hence her life long nickname "Tiny" can rack my 45 shield with ease using the overhand push technique. All about technique.



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Here`s what gave it away.... "When it does go all the way back, it has a grinding feel to it"

LUBE THE RECOIL SPRING WITH DRI-LUBE, THEN SHOOT THE HELL OUT OF IT.
What brand or type of Dry-Lube do you use or recommend for the recoil spring?
 

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What brand or type of Dry-Lube do you use or recommend for the recoil spring?
Liquid Wrench - RV Dri-Lube. You can buy it at wal-mart $4 a can.
I use it for everything, including lubing my cases when i reload my pistol rounds. Its never failed me.
 
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